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Don’t get all tacky on me now! :)

26 Jan

It’s as Lisa here again….for some reason the etiquette of asking for gifts has been brought up to me lately, and I want to get some things straight here….

First off, I want to get one thing out there…tradition still states that the practice of including lists of gift registries with your invitations is considered pretty tacky and inappropriate. Now, I understand that modern brides don’t mind breaking tradition, and one trend that is emerging is having no registries at all, but asking for money as gifts. This poses a problem for many couples, and most have no idea how to approach that. On Emilypost.com, 42% of brides and grooms-to-be said that “how to request money as a wedding gift” is the most challenging etiquette issue they face as they plan their weddings.

In my opinion, if you feel that it might be slightly inappropriate to ask ONLY for cash, then do not do it. Guests might just give you money anyway to save themselves time, so you might end up lucky anyway. Also, since I still believe it is tacky to put your list of registries in your invitation, don’t do that either….your question now is probably, “how do guests know what to buy me?” Honestly, you should NEVER expect a gift from each and every guest, because who knows what kind of financial situation they may be in. Also, take into account their travel expenses that they have had to pay to get to your wedding.

So, to answer your question on how guests know what to buy, the simple solution is the best, WORD OF MOUTH. Making a phone call to a close family relative, your mother, and your maid-of-honor will definitely help with that. In Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, it states “Once you have registered, give your mothers and your maid of honor a list of the stores, mail-order catalogs, Internet addresses, and other places where you are registered, to share with guests when they ask for gift ideas.”

Another creative solution is to make a wedding website, and to share that address included in your invitations. On this website, you can share the story of you as a couple, your honeymoon plans, pictures, and the list of places you are registered at. Some great sites to help are MyWedding.com, TheKnot.com, and EWedding.com.

Now, if I still haven’t convinced you not to ask solely for cash, I feel the most proper way to ask for this is by word of mouth. If you want to announce it on your website, most wedding websites have a gift registry section where you can add in wording like, from Wedaholic.com: “Whatever you would like to give us is wonderful, the choice is yours, we are registered at XXX but money is at the top of our wedding wish list to help pay for ………….”. Giving a listing of what you are planning to use that money for is very helpful, so your guests are aware that you are planning on using it for useful things for your future, not to adorn your shoulder with a Coach bag. 🙂

All in all, if you plan on asking for money for your wedding gifts, it is a very good idea to also have a couple of gift registries…some guests feel very apprehensive to giving cash, and might want to give you something more tangible for you to remember them by. I gave my best friend a set of airtight containers that were on her registry, and even though they wouldn’t have been my first choice as a wedding gift, she ALWAYS mentions them when I’m over at her place. It was a useful gift and they will have them for a long time.

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money money money! moooonneey!

21 Jan

Hey, it’s Lisa-Marie here! I am one of Mary’s assistants, and I’m looking forward to chatting with you on the Occasions blog! 🙂

Let’s talk about Budgets!

A commonly asked question when a Bride-to-be is planning her wedding is about budgeting…where should her money go, what’s important to make that day special?

Well, first thing is to figure out how much money you have for the wedding. Let’s think about it this way:

Think of your existing savings, and take half of that.
Then, how much can you and your fiancé save from this point on. (maybe 20% of your combined monthly income?)
Then add the Bride’s parents contribution, then add the Groom’s parents contribution.
Add all 3 or 4 of those numbers together, and there is your budget.
—The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner

Now, we understand many may be paying for their own wedding. So just add those first two numbers together.

It is very important that you DO NOT want to drive yourselves into crazy debt when you and your special someone are starting a new life and family together….but I understand you probably don’t want a “blah” wedding with nothing special to remember the day by!

One thing I like to tell brides is to get together with your fiancé and map everything out that you ever dreamed about for your wedding, and then go from there. If you can afford it ALL, then great! You are definitely very lucky, and are a part of a small percentage of people in this economy. If you are like most people, then there are some things that you may need to cut out or try to find at a lower price…but you first map out everything you would ever want, so at the end, the wedding still evokes your style. For example, maybe you two are major foodies, and the food is EVERYTHING to you….then buy your dress at a lower-cost but definitely amazing store, like David’s Bridal, J-Crew, or even now, the Limited is coming out with very beautiful wedding dresses! If you want to hire floral designer to decorate the wedding, save some money and have your local florist do the corsages and boutonnières to cut the price down a little bit. My friend Samantha Ebright is getting married very soon, and all she wants is a string quartet to walk down the aisle to and a live band…so she is only inviting 100 guests. Last, but certainly not least, your friendly neighborhood wedding consultant *cough-cough* definitely can help you out getting a better price…we have a good rapport with local vendors, and can sometimes negotiate better prices. The point is, find out what you want, and then shop around to see if you can cut any corners…..but please, only DIY if you KNOW you’ll be pleased with the outcome. It is your wedding day, not a 2nd grade art project.

If what I said did not help at all, and you need more a strict budget template to go off of to figure out what your budget is for each item, here is another template from The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner:

Remember to factor in up to 10% for any unforeseen things, like taxes and tips.

Hopefully this helped any bride and groom who are completely lost on where to start. Again, please do not go into debt for your wedding….you want to grow old with your fiancé, but who wants to speed up getting gray hairs?

With Bliss,
Lisa-Marie

How to avoid working on your wedding day.

22 Jul

How to avoid working on your wedding day. 

(5 Steps to enjoying your wedding day)

You’ve been planning for months.  Working on every possible detail and your wedding has taken on a life of its own.   The time and effort spent to put together your wedding while juggling all the tasks that need to be done.  You are concerned about experiencing bridal burnout but your biggest challenge is how to make sure that all the work you have put into your wedding happens the way you planned it. You want your guests to have a great time and you want to enjoy your own wedding and remember every moment of it.

 This is a common challenge with brides who worry about how their wedding day will turn out.  Here is the reality check.  You have two options on your wedding day:

1. You work your wedding and obsess over every detail.

2. You have someone else take care of the details so that you and your fiancée will have a fun and enjoyable wedding.

Planning a wedding can be a full time job and being able to focus your energy on the most important aspects of your wedding is vital to having a good time. Focus on the commitment you are making to your fiancée and enjoy the celebration with your family and friends.

 1. Hand over the reigns.  You are always in control of your wedding but having someone to facilitate the details and logistics for you can make or break your day.  A professional coordinator will handle all the time you have put into planning your wedding and make sure that you haven’t forgotten any details or logistics that can have a big impact on your day.  Bringing in a coordinator for the month or so before your wedding will give you the opportunity to cover the bases so that you are confident that all your plans are managed according to your specifications.

 Assign one point person.  If you decide that a non-professional should handle things please don’t let it be your mother.  She deserves to enjoy your wedding too.

However, the person you select should have all the answers and handle any emergencies that may arise.  Be sure your point person is the delegate.  Too many cooks in the kitchen can cause too much drama.  Tasks should be assigned so that everyone is clear on their duties.

 2.  Communicate as much as possible.  The more information you provide to your coordinator the better that they can facilitate for you. Put it this way, if you need to know then so does your coordinator.  By keeping your coordinator in the loop you won’t have vendors asking you questions on your wedding.  Believe me, the last think you want to do is have to think about anything.

 3.  Take care of yourselfMake sure to eat properly and drink plenty of water.  You expel so much energy on your wedding and going non-stop for at least 12 hours.  By giving your body the fuel it needs you can have the stamina to dance into the night.

 4.  Get some private timeThe energy from your family and bridal party can be quite draining so it is important to have some quality alone time.  Take a nice walk to quiet your brain.  From meditation to yoga or whatever works for you.  Give yourself the opportunity to balance and center your mind.  It will help you to “smell the roses” so to speak.

 5.  Prepare for unexpected emergencies.  Little things can turn into big problems so make yourself a personalized “Emergency Kit” to take care of any necessities.  From safety pins, double stick tape and scissors you can be prepared!

Also, life is full of little surprises.  Give yourself some credit and if something happens that is not according to your plan, let it go.  This is probably the most difficult thing to do but it can make or break your energy flow.

 Most importantly, take time for deep breaths and take a mental picture and say to yourself “ I want to remember this moment”  by taking your time throughout the day you can fully enjoy every possible moment.  From the ceremony kiss to the last hug goodbye you can begin your new life with joy and happiness.

Enjoy…

Style With Your Senses Part 2

14 Jul

SENSE OF HEARING

Sounds can also inflict specific feelings or emotions. We identify with our surroundings by the sounds around us. By enhancing the sounds of the wedding day, you can create the ambience you want the day to project.

  • The melody of wind chimes for an outdoor ceremony is peaceful.  Place wind chimes in the trees for a delightful touch. 
  • Add a bell boy to your processional. A favorite toddler to ring a bell to announce the arrival of the bride.  Another option with bells is to have a bell choir for your ceremony music.
  • Having the guests sing a hymn during the ceremony is a wonderful way to get involvement and is very sweet..
  • During your cocktail hour, have a strolling musician. Cocktail hour music is usually background to the conversation of guests. Try a strolling violinist who leads the guests from the ceremony area to the reception.